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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Kyurem #34

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Nov. 16, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.50
Limited: 4.40

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Kyurem 34/101 (Noble Victories)

Ok, if Zekrom and Reshiram weren’t enough to convince you that Pokémon card designers love the Unova Dragons, then this card should just about do it. Enter Kyurem, the last of the three Legendary Dragons from Black and White.

Unsurprising, Kyurem has a lot in common with the other Dragons. The HP is still absurdly high for a Basic at 130, there is that sometimes problematic Retreat cost of two (Energyless Dragons hate being dragged out with Catcher), and it has the extremely useful Outrage attack that can dish out severe punishment to any Pokémon that damages it short of a OHKO. On top of this it has probably the best Weakness in the game: thanks to its cousin Reshiram, you are very unlikely to see many Metal Type Pokémon at a tournament right now. Where Kyurem does differ from the other Dragons is in its second attack. While both Reshiram and Zekrom deal huge damage to the active, Kyurem takes a slightly more subtle approach: Glaciate costs [W][W][C] and does 30 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokémon.

That may not seem as immediately impressive as Reshi and Zekrom but it does have two things going for it. Firstly, the attack has no drawback: no self-damage, no Energy discarding, no nothing. Secondly, Glaciate actually has the potential to do even more damage than the other Dragons with a single attack: if your opponent has a full Bench, Kyurem is doing 6 x 30 =180 damage. That’s 50% more than either Reshi or Zekrom can manage! When you consider that there is also Energy acceleration out there for Kyurem (it can use Feraligatr Prime like Reshiram uses Ability Emboar), you begin to see the possibilities for this card. It might not be able to trade OHKOs with high HP actives, but it can take several Prizes in one go with just a few turns of Glaciate, while Baby Pokémon and very weak Basics like Solosis will be taken down with one attack.

Kyurem is undoubtedly the most powerful spread Pokémon that the game has ever seen, the question is, can it be a force in a metagame which seems to be all about speed and one-shot knock outs? There are definitely ways of countering Kyurem: cutting off its acceleration by dragging out and KOing Feraligatr is one way, another is to play Ability Serperior to all but nullify the damage from Glaciate. Finally, the Noble Victories set includes a very playable hard counter to Kyurem in the shape of Cobalion. The key to making Kyurem work will likely be in building a deck that is durable and consistent enough to deal with these challenges, as well as the threat of OHKOs from the other Dragons.

In other words, I think that creating a successful Kyurem deck is going to take a bit more than simply digging out the Gatr Primes from the binder. It’s too good a Pokémon not to see play, but it’s going to take some skills to realise the full potential of a spread deck in the current format.

Rating

Modified: 4 (tournament calibre for sure – I’m expecting some interesting and very powerful decks with this card)

Limited 4.75 (super hard to KO, this thing can spread its way to four Prizes in a couple of turns and Outrage will deal with any persistent threat)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Kyurem (Noble Victories)
 
Hey Pojo fans, we have a real  treat for you today. I've been waiting for this card ever since I saw it previewed. Today's review is dedicated to none other than the third Tao Dragom, Kyurem!
 
Kyurem is a lovely Water type Basic with 130 HP, Weakness to Metal, a retreat cost of 2 and two attacks.
 
The benefits of having 130 HP as well as being able to use Revive are well known, and the attraction of both the type (energy acceleration from Feraligatr Prime as well as the ability to hit Reshiram and Donphan for Weakness) and the obscure Weakness (ReshiPhlosion has destroyed all Metal type Poke'mon) is immense. So far, Kyurem has the best stats of the three Unova Dragons.
 
Now the attacks. Outrage is well known and has the same costs and benefits as it does on the other 2 cards. At [c][c] for 20 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter on Kyurem, it's a great fallback option for when the second attack fails and it's even better for discouraging your opponent from dealing small incremental damage, forcing your opponent to go for the 1HKO!
 
The second attack is Glaciate, which is a departure from the Bolt Strike and Blue Flare of the other Dragons but in keeping with the video game attacks. For [w][w][c] Kyurem will deal 30 damage to each of your opponent's Poke'mon (not applying Weakness and Resistance for the Bench, of course). I don't know about you, but the idea of massive spread and type advantage gives me goosebumps!
 
Now, Glaciate lacks the punch to take out a big target quickly so Kyurem, unlike its bretheren, is a combo piece rather than the focus of a deck. The first partner that comes to mind is Feraligatr Prime, as not only do you get energy acceleration but after you use Glaciate once or twice, you can use Feraligatr's Hydro Crunch attack to wipe out any important, wounded targets (Hydro Crucnh deals 60 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter already on the Defending Poke'mon).
 
If you are going to use Feraligatr, you would do well to throw in Blastoise UL or Entei & Suicune Legend. Both Poke'mon have suffered in the past because while they can deal 100 damage to a Benched target with Feraligatr's Rain Dance to help pay the heavy energy cost, they both fall short of getting a 1HKO on the big bench sitters like Magnezone Prime, Typhlosion Prime and FanBoar. Also, both Poke'mon have a Lightning Weakness, which has been a major stumbling block to tournament succes. Kyurem helps to solve both of these problems by acting as a big body to absorb damage from Zekrom and friends while also using Glaciate to soften up targets before Blastoise/Entei & Suicune Legend land the killing blow.
 
Spekaing of sniping, Kingdra Prime works well with Kyurem by boosting the spread damage even further, while Kyurem works well with Kingdra by covering the Lightning and Fire Weakness (it feels just a little counterintuitive to have a Water Poke'mon that can't hurt Fire Poke'mon doesn't it?). With Kyurem up front and all of this support on the Bench, maybe Rain Dance will finally break through to the top level!
 
However, Rain Dance archetypes aren't the only place where Kyurem could fit. As I mentioned above, Kingdra fits well with Kyurem but it doesn't fit quite so well with Rain Dance builds, mainly because it is yet another Stage 2 in an already crowded deck (although it doesn't synergise very well with the energy acceleration either). However, Kingdra fits very well with Yanmega Prime, which interestingly enough also has a tough time dealing with Zekrom and Reshiram due to only having 110 HP and a maximum unboosted output of 70 damage a turn.
 
With Kyurem, Kingdra and Yanmega together you have a powerful capability for spread and sniping with better type matchups, as well as a little room to play with for specialty cards. Donpahn Prime seems like a good inclusion for a little more oomph against the Active Poke'mon, and if you use Thunderus or Tornadus you could get a lot of mileage out of Eviolite as well. If you happen to have the cards kicking around in your collection, why not try them out?
 
I'm sure there are other combos out there, and the fact that Outrage is Colourless means you can splash any of the Unova Dragons to act as a wall that bites back so having your choices for type coverage increased can only be a good thing. Get your hands on a playset as soon as possible!
 
Modified: 5 (maybe Kyurem will finally make Rain Dance a viable archetype and maybe it won't but I can definitely see people playing the icy beast just to use Outrage against Reshiram and Donphan, even without the potential to abuse Glaciate)
 
Limited: 4 (there are several other big Basics in this set, including Vrizion with Water Resistance, Cobalion which hits for Weakness and Druddigon which will punish Kyurem heavily with Rough Skin, but Big Blue is still a great pick and th spread is awesome if you can avoid being Knocked Out in the meant time)
 
Combos with: Feraligatr Prime, Kingdra Prime, Blastoise UL, Entei & Suicune Legend, Yanmega Prime, any deck with energy acceleration that can be exploited by Colourless attacks


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